9 thoughts on “The College Application Process”

  1. College is so over rated now that it’s almost what HS was when I was HS age. If EVERYONE has a college degree, doesn’t that water it down as a standard of achievement?

    And with the job market, is getting a college degree the way to advise Little Johnny or Young Janey to go? Right now there is a need for metal working trades people. There is a need for X-ray Techs and sonogram techs. There’s a need for surveyors.

    All of these are available with a 1 year certificate or two year associate degree, from the community college systems, for WAY less than $10K in most states.

    Right now, the community college my son is going to is turning out 19 and 20 year old welders who are taking the American Welding Society basic certification test, and getting jobs for $17 to $25 an hour. And unlike MOST of those college degree guys who go to work on a fixed salary, welders get O/T for hours worked over 40.

    Having been on both sides of that, I’ll take the O/T job thanks.

    If my kids were in HS now, I’d be advising them to go into a trade. Something where they could open a small shop after a few years and work for themselves. Welding, machining or sheet metal work. Or masonry, plumbing, surveying, ANYthing where they didn’t need IBM, GM, Boeing, Bill Gates, Massive Dynamic, or local, state or federal government for a paycheck.

    My wife is worried about her state government job, they want to out source all the IT people. Then they’ll hire them right back in through a private company to do the states IT work. They won’t even have a day off in between or move to a different office. Some future Friday she’ll go home a state employee, Monday she’ll go back as a contractor. And believe it or not, someone high up, thinks they can save money doing it, because they get rid of 2500 employees overnight. (yeah, I said BS too)

    For all those who think a government job is what they were 20 years ago, secure, decent pay, good retirement, think again. Even with all the WI teacher BS, I can tell you, that is union TEACHERS, not all government employees. The job she took, for less money 6 years ago, so she’d have job security is gone. She is now no more secure, than when she worked for NORTELL or Glaxo.

    However, my mechanic quit doing tune-ups because he has SO much repair work to do.

    He said there was just too much money ‘getting away’. (his term, not mine) He now sends his tune-up work to a guy who used to work for him, who does JUST tune-ups and rebuilds transmissions. He just hired his second guy.

    No, if my sons were in HS now, we’d be looking at trades, not degrees. My niece is living here right now, I advised her to look at auto mechanics.

  2. “College is so over rated now that it’s almost what HS was when I was HS age.”

    It’s even worse than that. A ridiculous number of HS graduates require remedial courses in basic subjects as soon as they step in the college’s door. So not only are the high schools unable to perform their basic purpose, despite spending vast sums of money, colleges are then required to spend even more money to do it for them. Everyone would be better off, I think, if colleges were allowed to start recruiting right out of middle school. They’d certainly save the poor kids years of wasted time.

    In a saner world, colleges would be angry about this and would agitate for reform. But the colleges get their money from the government’s bottomless vault anyway, and everyone wants to be pals with their fellow educators, so there’s no incentive for such an embarrassing and distasteful conversation.

  3. “If EVERYONE has a college degree, doesn’t that water it down as a standard of achievement?”

    In theory, no. If everyone can do advanced calculus and can speak intelligently on Greek philosphy, you’ve still learned advanced calculus and philosphy. And society is better off from having so many well educated citizens.

    “And believe it or not, someone high up, thinks they can save money doing it, because they get rid of 2500 employees overnight. (yeah, I said BS too)”

    Of course they can save money that way. Contractors don’t have gold-plated healthcare and pension packages.

    This whole admission madness is driven by the fact that there’s no great way to do apples-to-apples comparisons on the results of college education. How would you prove that the education received from University of Florida is just as good at the one from Brown or Princeton? Since you can’t do that, you have to compete for the limited slots at Princeton (thus bidding up the price and costs of admission).

    There is no competetive entry into the college sector, and thus a supply bottleneck owned by an oligopoly of Ivy Leaguers has its usual effect.

    We need a way to break off the “education” half of the education sector from the “credentialing” half of the sector. And then make both halves actually competitive. Leave education to schools but get your diploma from Kaplan or Princeton Review through testing. That sort of thing. Only then would there actually be competition at the education level (“We’ll help you pass the Kaplan Level 3 for half the price of our competitors!”).

  4. But Brock, everyone can’t learn advanced calculus. Sending every child to college and putting them in a class has no magical power to make their brains work past their capacity. This is the embarrassing fact no one wants to face, but our dislike of reality won’t make it go away.

    Greek philosophy isn’t difficult — it’s just taught as if it were. But advanced mathematics is difficult to grasp for even intelligent people. What we really should be doing is worrying about the fact that fewer students seem to be leaving high school with knowledge of the basics; we’re worrying that not enough kids are signing up for courses in differential equations when they don’t even know how to add and subtract. But they sure can text like motherf*ckers.

  5. Andrea, we cn thumb @100wmp; wutz teh prblm? nvrmd tal lks lyk ths; n teh futr thsll b stndrd nglsh.

  6. Brock,
    this is NC, not NYC, there is no gold plated stuff here. We are a ‘right to work’ state. There simply is no way that they can out source here and save money.

    The comparison of Princeton to Florida State isn’t the problem. The problem is that TOO many companies think they NOW need a college grad, to do work that was done 10 or 20 years ago by a HS grad, or even someone with a few years experience and a proven history of hard work.

    Locally, the FAST FOOD franchises are only hiring college grads to be managers. It’s on their signs in the stores and it’s in (what few) newspaper ads there are on Sunday. I started working in restaurants as a young teen. I moved around, learned all I could and I was a store manager before I was 22.

    You can’t convince me that you need a degree to shovel burgers onto buns or shove pizzas in an oven. The same is true of supervising those shove and shovelers. I don’t know where you live, but College Degrees for management certainly hasn’t made my order get in the bag quicker or without a 60% mistake rate.

    In order to get quality work out of ANY group you need to know the product, the customers and you need some work history of your own. 15 years ago when I had hiring and firing powers, I was shocked at the number of college graduates who had NEVER had a job!! I can’t imagine that the number is much different now than it was then. Have parents gotten LESS permissive with giving their kids everything in that 15 years? Not where I live or travel.

    The last F/T job I had, I was a trainer and eqpt type. I had a half dozen, young, first job, degree’d people working FOR me. One of the reasons I left was a shift in that set up. Without ever giving us a reason, they moved several of us down, and hired new, fresh out of college, never worked KIDS to replace us. They even hired people fresh out of college to supervise the people WITH degrees that I had hired. It certainly caused way more trouble than any benefit that could have been gained.

    Our eqpt lease customers were never happy with it, and the customer always KNOWS if he’s happy or not. And some fresh face, new to the world can never make any customer as happy as someone who knows the customers and the product. Degrees be damned where customer satisfaction is concerned. They are not a portent of any ability.

    And every job has a ‘product’ and a ‘customer’, be it in house or across the country or around the world.

  7. In Nevada students have the option to start taking community college classes while in their junior year in HS for dual credit if there is an agreement with the High School. Last May we had a student receive her Associates degree two weeks before she received her HS diploma under such an agreement.

    I am now working on agreements with a number of local High Schools to make this routine 🙂

    As a side note, the local gold mining firms are hiring Mill Wrights, Welders and Surveyors as fast as we are able to graduate them. Most stay on after receiving their associates as online students while working to receive their Management Bachelors so they may work their way up to management and supervisory positions. The mining jobs are mostly union so the pay is very good.

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